A start-up that specializes in supporting mobile websites for Real Estate agents. A company that facilitates networking between Real Estate professionals on social media sites. A website that’s operating like Kickstarter for investments in commercial Real Estate. These are just a few of the companies highlighted in HousingWire’s Tech100 list for developing innovative Real Estate technology.
HousingWire is an online news site that covers the major sectors of the housing economy, focusing on Real Estate, investments and mortgage lending. Its list is the first of its kind to assess the entire field of more than 600 technology companies serving the housing economy.
“The revolution in mortgage and Real Estate technology is just getting started," said Paul Jackson (@pjackson), publisher and CEO of HousingWire. "What we’ve already seen happen in many other industries, from retail to news media, we’re now seeing take place on a grand scale in the U.S. housing economy. The HW TECH100 recognizes those firms that are innovating the future of an industry that underpins much of the U.S. economic engine.”
HousingWire’s winnowed their pool of candidates to 400 firms before selecting the final 100, which spanned Real Estate, lending, valuations, servicing, marketing, investments, and compliances and processing.
The online Real Estate database Zillow was one of 25 Real Estate companies that made the final cut. Amanda Woolley, a communication manager for Zillow, said in an email that her company has created Zillow Tech Connect, a program that gives agents and brokers access to the customer relationship management software provider of their choice.
“Zillow Tech Connect offers a unique and rapidly expanding open ecosystem for technology in the Real Estate industry,” Woolley said. “We seek to support the various technology platforms that many Real Estate brokers and agents invest heavily in to accelerate their businesses. In addition to connecting to a dozen other CRMs, we provide our own free and lightweight software suite to agents, giving all premier agents access to a technology solution to convert leads into deals.”
Another company on the list was Realty Mogul, a new crowd-funding platform for commercial Real Estate. Jay Samit, the company's executive chairman, said his company has broken down the “old boy network” that dominated commercial Real Estate transactions to allow individual investors to examine properties and make investments from the comfort of their desks.
“We’ve sort of done what e-Trade did in their asset classes,” Samit said. Realty Mogul’s website doubles as a forum for agents, brokers and investors to browse listings, exchange information and seal deals. Samit points out that although Realty Mogul is just a year old, the majority of its users have made multiple investments through the company — a testament to the public’s enthusiasm for their innovative approach.
“We like to joke that every month we send you an email that says, ‘you got money,'” Samit said.
This year’s inaugural list singled out 100 companies. Next year's list may be longer.